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*On this date in 1956, Morocco gained independence from France. In 1844, after the French conquered Algeria, the Franco-Moroccan War took place, with the bombardment of Tangiers, the Battle of Isly, and the bombardment of Mogador. This was a prelude to the Berlin Conference, the high point of white European competition for African territory, a process commonly known as the Scramble for Africa.
In late 1955, in the middle of what became known as the Revolution of the King and the People, Sultan Mohammed V successfully negotiated the gradual restoration of Moroccan independence within a framework of French Moroccan interdependence. The sultan agreed to institute reforms transforming Morocco into a constitutional monarchy with a democratic form of government. In February 1956, Morocco acquired limited home rule. Further negotiations for full independence culminated in the French-Moroccan Agreement signed in Paris in 1956. On April 7, 1956, France officially relinquished its protectorate in Morocco. The internationalized city of Tangier was reintegrated with the signing of the Tangier Protocol on October 29, 1956.
The abolition of the Spanish protectorate and the recognition of Moroccan independence by Spain were negotiated separately and made final in the Joint Declaration of April 1956. This agreement with Spain in 1956 and another in 1958 restored Moroccan control over certain Spanish-ruled areas. Attempts to claim other Spanish possessions through military action were less successful.
In the months that followed independence, Mohammed V proceeded to build a modern governmental structure under a constitutional monarchy in which the sultan would exercise an active political role. He acted cautiously, intent on preventing the Istiqlal from consolidating its control and establishing a one-party state. He assumed the monarchy in 1957.